WHEN it comes to edge of your seat racing finishes, they don’t come closer or more thrilling than this.
Tyler Reddick and Elliot Sadler recorded the closest race finish in NASCAR history over the weekend, in the PowerShares QQQ 300 (catchy) race at Daytona. Reddick timed an aerodynamic trick known as the side-draft to sneak past Sadler at the perfect moment.
A photo finish was necessary to determine the winner. Reddick and Sadler crossed the line so close together that the official timing difference was shown as 0.000 seconds, as the timing boards only display enough digits for thousandths of a second. There hasn’t been a closer finish since electronic timing was first introduced for NASCAR races in 1993.
The previous closest finish in NASCAR history was a 1995 Truck series race at Colorado National Speedway.
NASCAR is also responsible for one of the most famous photo-finishes in motorsport, between Kurt Busch and Ricky Craven at Darlington in 2003. Victory was split by a margin of 0.002 seconds.
While Reddick celebrated with a lovely, smoky burnout, Sadler had to walk away with the unfortunate privilege of having lost a race at Daytona by the smallest recorded margin. Watching replays in real-time it is nearly impossible to visually identify which car crosses the line first.
The Xfinity series of NASCAR is a feeder-category for the Monster Energy ‘Cup’ championship, and its 300-mile prologue to the big-daddy Daytona 500 was a carnage-filled slug-fest between the front-runners, which included a bevy of big names like Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.
One man who won’t be disappointed by the finish is the recently retired Dale Earnhardt Jr, who owns both the first and second placed cars.